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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. How significant ? Not like 1980, I assure you... And there's no reason to think that Layton (an intelligent man) hasn't seen the light in terms of deficit spending. There will, of course, be some divergence in proposed taxation rates, and possibly labour laws. But social policy, trade policy and so forth will largely have symbolic differences. I think the next few months will be stormy for the CPC, and Harper is just the autocrat for the job. The party will truly unite under his replacement. That said, your points are all valid. I think Clement would be a good leader, but him winning would bother the stallwarts of the Alliance. The CA will need some time to get to know the better half of their party. Thanks for the comments...
  2. As Layton pointed out on Politics with Don Newman, Ms. Stronach donated $55K to Paul Martin's campaign, so I guess Belinda and Paul must be part of a mutual admiration society. If Harper is successful in shutting up the social-cons, and Layton's "no deficit" "fiscally responsible" platform takes... we'll soon have 3 major parties with platforms that are so similar that it almost won't matter which one you vote for. All that matters now is optics. I concur with you BB, that electing BS would be a setback for the CPC. As for which candidate is the best, I have to say Harper ( previously saddled with the nickname "what's in it for me" ) is best positioned to forge the former PCs and the Alliance together and guide the new party up to the next election in 2007 or 2008 - the one that the CPC really has a shot at.
  3. At this point, Liberal majority still seems likely but anything could happen. Here's a related thread: Dec 5 - Discussion of Prospects of the new CPC
  4. The bar is a bit higher when you're the US president. Nixon didn't exactly wow them every time either. The future (ie. the election) is a long way away. Politics is more like pinball every year, so don't count anyone out until the election is in sight...
  5. Well, I have to assume that FIRE quoted the Dean correctly and it IS a strange thing to say that one would be bothered by such a disclaimer. I trust we won't have to wait long for more on this.
  6. I suggest that we pause and consider the fact that WorldNetDaily is known for its inflammatory articles. The article above fails to report the point of view of the Dean, the college, and the professor in question. Only the opinion of FIRE is expressed. If you go to the FIRE site, they have a copy of a letter that they sent the administration. There's a little more information in there. For example, the professor expressed some sort of public disdain for a student's chosen sect in the classroom. That's what prompted the comment that the professor needed to be more tolerant. If it turns out that the professor was persecuted for mentioning his faith in the classroom, then this action by the college is indefensible. But that remains to be seen. All we have is FAITH's assertion that the college was persecuting this man. There may be other factors at play that haven't been mentioned in the WND article. We'll have to wait a while to find out the results.
  7. I'll grant you that Chretien was on thin ice with this issue, as evidenced by PM Martin's decision appeal the Supreme Court decision after all. But support for gay marriage was a lot greater than support for the GST was when Brian Mulroney was hounded from office. All you need to do is look at the actions of the Mike Harris government in Ontario. They did a lot of things that governments were told they "couldn't" do. They turned back tenant rent protection, but tenants still didn't come out to vote in elections. The fact that people don't see our institutions as having any effect on their lives is both a success and a failure of our systems IMO.
  8. Well, not "fine" I suppose. Somewhere between "fine" and "doing whatever it pleases", I think. Yes, these are flaws with our system and I agree that people don't involve themselves enough in the affairs of our country. There are similar problems with alienation towards our government in Canada and the US. But I still think the situation is far from one where the government does as it pleases. Ok, I understand better now. I agree with you that all corporation regulations should not be removed. I also think that laws and institutions that keep our government in check ( the press, the courts, free speech guarantees, etc. ) should remain. It seems that we're on the same side here.
  9. You really don't grasp the fundamentals of debating. It's about having a well-supported argument, not about who has the best credentials. Please note that I haven't asked you about your credentials, your educational background, your job etc. It's not relevant. Actually, I was the one who posted the numbers. You introduced the "misery index", pronounced it valid then told ME to prove it was invalid. I'm no fan of the Liberals, but I guess you're trying to say that you are because this is exactly what the Liberals have done since they came into office. I understand the topic very well. But, if you go back to how this debate began... You stated that Canada has among the highest debt burden. I found proof, through OECD figures, that this was not true. You came back with a florid rush of indexes manufactured by the CD Howe inst., and a number of columnists and tax cut advocates. You stated that state owned corporations needed to be included in the figure, but didn't provide any such country by country breakdown. So you abandoned your original assertion, and didn't provide any real evidence for your new one. Furthermore, you continue to flout the guidelines for posting on this board by adding insults to your posts.
  10. I don't see how. It sounds like you have a bigger problem with the voters than the government.
  11. Why are you still starting out your arguments with insults ? Dept of Finance ? Do you mean Revenue Canada ? Are you talking about the US or Canada now ? Again, you quote made-up numbers without reference. I already addressed this above. Please address my points. "Jayson Myers using Stas Can and OECD data". What is this ? I posted the list, which you ignore and try to supplant with "misery" lists and "tax shame" lists from groups like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation... I'm not saying they're stupid, Rasputin, but an advocacy group and its "indexes" cannot be taken seriously as a basis for discussion on its own. They exist to persuade. And end with an insult.... Well, Rasputin. I've heard your argument before. It's the same oversimplified argument that you hear in every bar and donut shop... the government is corrupt, immoral ( I notice you didn't follow that up ) and taxes are too high etc. etc. Unfortunately, we can never progress to a real discussion of issues. This situation arises because you refuse to acknowledge accepted numbers, and instead want to introduce indexes that you've undoubtedly read about in some newspaper column, reprinted from a press package produced by a tax advocacy group. I'm sure that's good enough for you, but it isn't for me. Furthermore, you never respond to my points but, instead, come back with insults and name calling. It's bad arguing, it's bad thinking and it's against board policy, IMO.
  12. That's a cynical thing to say. The government, love it or hate it, ultimately has to answer to the electorate. If there isn't support for their management, then the government will be unseated. Where do you live ? But charity doesn't help the poor do much better than starve. There was charity in Biblical times too. Luckily, our society has evolved beyond that.
  13. Nor do they account for the revenues from said agencies. If you want to change what we're discussing (we're discussing your original post about our tax burden being among the highest) then let's say so and continue. But any money that they soak up is already accounted for in the tax numbers. Are you going to include VIA rail train fares, CBC advertising revenue, liquor sales in Ontario ? If that's the discussion, then ok. But I think you'll find Europe with even more state control. These are special interest groups that lobby for tax breaks. I don't accept these figures as biased. You wouldn't expect me to use figures from the Ontario Federaion of Labour, either. Another unscentific, uneconomic, emotionally-based index with a spiffy catch-phrase. Real economists don't talk about "misery indexes" and "economic freedom points" they talk about GDP, debt, tax revenues etc. These groups that you quote from are lobby groups that pitch easy arguments to the lowest common denominator. The 43% figure is made up. Please use a real number. I suspect that this is a manufactured emergency, as you have consistently failed to provide any real support. Why is a tax system considered immoral ? That is absolutely ridiculous. Every major religion preaches helping the poor. We've seen others on this board parade on and on about "immorality". Paris Hilton is the heiress to a vast fortune created by the hotel empire. Thousands of people worked millions of hours and the fortune is now hers. She is arguably the poster girl for the ultimate result of capitalism. There's your morality. I never said that Canada was under taxed, nor did I enter into debate about your ridiculous indexes. And again, explain the immorality about a system that brought us to prosperity through the 20th century. Sorry. You're the one who produces these fantasy indexes, so the onus is on you to prove their validity. The "tax freedom" index, the "misery" index. etc. These are numbers made up and cooked to make Canada look bad. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is a real number used by real economists. When Canada came up high on the "quality of living" index by the UN, there was much criticism from the right that it was a loosey-goosey index, and I agreed. There are conventional figures that professionals use to discuss these things. GDP, Tax Rates, Debt, Deficit. etc. Use these in your arguments.
  14. The fact that you continually resort to insults shows that you have no confidence in your arguments. Tax revenues plus spending ? Since we still have a balanced budget, and are one of the only nations that does so that would only improve our standing. Also, you're running away from your original statement by bringing up regulatory fees on top of taxes. Every government collects regulatory fees. My figures are official figures from the OECD, not made up numbers from a politically-based tax advocacy group. "Economic Freedom" is a loosey goosey term. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is not. Actually, it puts us 17th out of 29th and below average if you read the post. Low taxes will not fix the natural cycles of the economy. When the economy is at an ebb, who will fund the programs we need ? More insults... And some more to finish off... I posted hard numbers, showing your facts to be incorrect (not that you explained where they came from anyway) and you respond with quotes from individuals, tax pressure groups and talk about the "Economic Freedom" index. At least have the grace to concede when your falsehoods have been laid bare.
  15. Yet another unsupported falsehood from Rasputin. We are below the OECD and EU averages for taxation. Read and learn... OECD Tax Burdens The most recent complete figures for tax revenue as a & of GDP show the following percentages. 54.2 Sweden 48.8 Denmark 46.9 Finland 45.6 Belgium 45.3 France 43.7 Austria 42.0 Italy 41.7 Luxembourg 41.4 Netherlands 40.3 Norway 39.4 Czech 39.1 Hungary 37.9 Germany 37.8 Greece 37.4 UK 37.3 Iceland 35.8 Canada 35.7 Switzerland 35.2 Spain 35.1 NZ 34.5 Portugal 34.1 Poland 33.4 Turkey 31.8 Australia 31.1 Ireland 29.6 USA 27.1 Japan 26.1 Korea 18.5 Mexico OECD Average - 37.4 EU Average - 41.6
  16. I'm confused. According to your post above, he IS guilty.
  17. Rasputin: Where does it say anything about Chirac ? This is yet another baseless and irresponsible accusation from you. You throw charges around these boards without any basis, then - on other threads - accuse your opponents of being immoral. Well I for one think that slander is immoral.
  18. ILGA should disassociate itself with NAMBLA. It may have already done so - I can't find anything on the ILGA site that mentions NAMBLA at all.
  19. I think that I misunderstood what you meant by this: I take it now that you meant this is why capitalism "needs" a moral foundation. Ok. Show me some statistics on 1 and 3. As for 2, I don't know who Tommy Thomson is. And price fixing is always a problem with capitalism where there are a few dominant players. Ok. That's clear now. I don't always quote sources for obvious facts. Mea Culpa. Policy Altenatives You see, by lumping everyone with over 70K in as "rich", the truly wealthy benefit from opposition to middle class tax increases. If there was an "over 200k" bracket, there would be less resistance to a tax increase to that group. The study from StatsCan doesn't fix a poverty level, but rather looks at the wage gains made by the top 10% or bottom 10% of the population. Some of the finest professionals I have worked with, and some of the most productive people I have known had general degrees. I believe Stephen Harper has a general BA as well as an MA. Well, I actually talked about the industrial revolution as well. Please provide some sources explaining how the stock market bubble was not one of the causes of the depression.
  20. Capitalism is moral because it can't operate without laws to restrict it ? Wouldn't capitalism NOT need laws if it was inextricably linked with morality ? These are excellent examples of capitalists who didn't seem to have a moral foundation. You've drifted from talking about morality, but ok... A market-based healthcare system puts people at a natural basis because ultimately you can't choose to not buy the product. I have shown in another thread that the US's largely market-based system provides roughly half the coverage at roughly twice the per-capita costs. As for the "so-called" socialism in Canada - the gulf between rich and poor is said to be increasing. Real wages tend to slip lower while the top echelons of society are doing better. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, but you must be blind to call this socialism. Even the top tax rates under Eisenhower were much higher than we see today and he was no socialist. You're jumping all over the map. What university professors are you talking about ? They demagogue endlessly about morality, love and human rights ? I hope they're not engineering professors ! University tuitions in Ontario (for one) have already increased far ahead of inflation. I'm not sure why further increases should be a priority. You have a binary way of looking at the world. It seems to me that you're saying "liberate the markets or nationalize food distribution". Anti-planning ? An interesting stance. I'm not sure how Wal-Mart, the US Federal Reserve or the military would operate without it, but... You espouse ideas that were tried in the past and resulted in boom-and-bust economics, general misery and - in reaction - the rise of radical left politics. Learn from the mistakes of the past, Rasputin.
  21. I disagree wholeheartedly. In the Gospels, for example, there are many examples of Jesus denouncing material wealth and advocating on behalf of the poor and needy. This is exactly what our society did when it developed the social safety net. Prior to that, we had a society where the poor and needy suffered for the sake of a few extra coins in the rich man's pocket. There are many Christians (such as former NDP leadership candidate and ordained United Church minister Bill Blaikie ) who see socialism as a logical extension of their beliefs. Given our history, and such capitalistic atrocities as the industrial revolution, it's not hard to see why.
  22. I think this is too much of a leap. Socialism and capitalism are broad bodies of thought about how to run an economy. Both systems could succeed or fail because of, or in spite of a moral populace. The capitalist system served Bill Gates well, it also serves Paris Hilton. The socialist system serves a hard-working poor family who temporarily falls on hard times as it does a lazy person who doesn't want to work. I would say that charity is no substitute for fair taxes when it comes to building a healthy and productive people. Nor is it a substitute for paying a good wage. The socialist-capitalist axis which is argued so vehemently on this board is actually quite narrow. It makes one wonder why people get so upset. The Canadian Alliance officially supports socialized medicine, making it "socialist" by 1920s standards. The NDP favours balanced budgets, and would never seriously consider widespread nationalization of industry as leftists of the past have advocated. So here we are, apparently on the brink of some kind of centrist consensus yet there seems to be more divisiveness than ever.
  23. If what your saying is right, then the CPC should immediately start trumpeting their policy as a call for a return to the economics of the 1920s. This is a time before universal healthcare, wage protections, unionization, consumer protection, etc. existed. I'd say that you are honest in your summation but I'd also say that few Canadians would agree to return to this dark period.
  24. You seem to be condemning an entire religion based on the actions of a few extremists. It's impossible to divorce the effects of religious thought from the environment in which the adherent lives. I suggest that a Canadian Muslim, brought up in a Canadian environment would be much more similar to a Canadian Christian than a Saudi Muslim.
  25. I don't understand what you're saying here. I don't think anyone would expect a different level of care to be provided to an uninsured person who paid for their treatment. Sometimes personal information or anecdote can be illuminating. This is good news. I'm glad that you're healthy. But the per capital average does show that the average price paid in the US for healthcare is higher. For some lucky individuals, such as yourself and myself, healthcare isn't needed as much. We should count our blessings. I'm not using the system to the extent that I have paid for it. But overall, the cost of the US system is twice as much on average.
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